Tag: Professional Development

SASSI Training

As we prepare to move into 2023, we are excited that our certified SASSI trainers throughout the U.S. and Canada have begun doing live in-person trainings again and with more frequency. We invite you to check out our training page to view a list of currently scheduled workshops at https://sassi.com/sassi-training/.  These lists are updated frequently and also contain contact information for your local trainer/s. If nothing is scheduled in your area, we encourage you to reach out directly to the trainer so they know there is interest in their area. We also continue to offer online training webinars both live and on-demand if in-person is not a viable option for you.

Reminder: Our clinical team is available M-F to answer questions about the administration, scoring, and interpretation of our instruments at 800.726.0526 option 2. This is a free service, and we encourage you to call often.

Happy holidays to all.

Registration Open: Adolescent-Community Reinforcement Approach

Courtney Hupp, MSW, LCSW, CADC will be presenting a live webinar on implementing the A-CRA treatment model on November 14th. On December 1st she will be presenting how to implement Family Sessions using this model.

The treatment model known as Adolescent-Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) recognizes that, at least initially, alcohol and drug use is about reinforcing consequences — that make us more likely to repeat actions. This is true whether we are hanging out with friends, playing a favorite game, eating a good meal, or using alcohol or other drugs. People who use alcohol and drugs get something out of it – or they wouldn’t keep doing it.

The overall goal of A-CRA is to help individuals reconnect with or discover new sources of positive reinforcement within their community to compete with alcohol or drug use. How do A-CRA clinicians do this? By listening to and learning from their clients what is important to them. They then help them connect to pro-recovery activities that have meaning and value to their client. In addition, A-CRA clinicians help their clients identify goals and learn how to achieve them. A-CRA clients also learn a variety of new skills, such as problem-solving and positive communication (with partners, friends, and others), which help them attain a better quality of life. Practicing new skills is a critical component of the skills training used in A-CRA. Every session ends with a mutually-agreed upon homework assignment to practice skills learned during sessions. A-CRA clinicians engage caregivers or other family members to support the client and to learn skills that can be used with the entire family.

This intervention has been implemented in outpatient, intensive outpatient, schools, prevention services, and residential treatment settings. This research-tested intervention has been used in over 500 organizations across the United States and Canada. Courtney Hupp will provide an introduction to the A-CRA model, a summary of the research base, and details about how to use a variety of A-CRA skills during sessions.

What You Will Learn:
• An Introduction to the A-CRA model
• History of A-CRA research and implementation
• Goals of A-CRA treatment
• An overview of the A-CRA session structure and treatment guidelines
• How to use some of the A-CRA procedures during sessions like a Functional Analysis for substance use, Happiness Scale, Sobriety Sampling, and Increasing Prosocial Recreation
• General clinical skills necessary to implement A-CRA

FAMILY SESSIONS:
Engaging caregivers and other healthy family members into A-CRA treatment to strengthen social support. A-CRA clinicians help clients and families learn skills that can be used with the entire family. A-CRA skills are simple, behavioral, and easy for families to repeat during the family sessions and outside of treatment. In addition, the positive, supportive approach of A-CRA allows participants to focus on the positive aspects of the family and build upon family strengths to improve the relationship.

On addition to bullets above you will also learn:
• How to use the A-CRA skills during family session. Family session skills include: three positives exercise, relationship happiness scale, problem solving, communication skills, and daily reminder to be nice.

Be sure to register for one or both of these webinars at: www.sassi.com/other-training-online

Challenging Behaviors in Children: Components of Evidence-Based Treatments

In recent years the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Development (a division of the American Psychological Association) has been at the forefront of identifying evidence-based approaches for clinical work with youth. Join us on October 13th from 1:30-4:30 pm ET, when Stephen Hupp, PhD (Co-Developer of the BADDS) will be presenting a webinar which will open by describing the evolving criteria for identifying well-established treatments and then will describe each of the evidence-based treatment packages. The webinar will highlight the components that cut across all of these treatment packages while also provide a critical examination of common myths and misunderstandings related to challenging behaviors.

What You Will Learn:

o            Recognize risk factors associated with challenging behaviors

o            Recognize how screening and assessment can influence treatment

o            Identify evidence-based treatment packages for challenging behaviors

o            Describe the common components across the treatment packages

o            Critique myths and misunderstandings related to challenging behaviors

This workshop will provide 3 NAADAC CEs. The cost is $199 per person with group and student discount rates available. Click here to register.

Presenter Bio:

Stephen Hupp, PhD, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Psychology Professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he has won the Great Teacher Award and the Champion for Diversity Award. He is also the Mental Health Consultant Coordinator for the East St. Louis Head Start program. His edited books include Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy: Components of Evidence-Based Treatments (2018), Science-Based Therapy (forthcoming with David Tolin), Investigating Pop Psychology (forthcoming with Richard Wiseman), Pseudoscience in Therapy (forthcoming with Cara Santa Maria). His co-authored books include Great Myths of Child Development (2015), Great Myths of Adolescence (2019), and Thinking Critically about Child Development (2020). He has also written a skeptical game book for children called Dr. Huckleberry’s True or Malarkey? Superhuman Abilities (2021).

Psychopharmacology and the Biology of Addiction Webinar

Increase your understanding of how drugs of abuse interact with each other as well as what takes place in the brains of experimenters, abusers and addicts. Improve your ability to communicate with medical professionals and your clients.

On March 29th and 31st, 2022, Dr. Donald R. Osborne, Jr., author of the newly released book “You Can’t Fall Out of a Hole: Ripping the Band Aid off of Our Addiction Epidemic,” will be hosting a live webinar to increase your knowledge on the subject of Psychopharmacology and the Biology of Addiction.

Information that will be presented and discussion will be about the following:

Central Nervous SystemPeripheral Nervous System
Autonomic Nervous SystemSomatic Nervous System
Sympathetic Nervous SystemParasympathetic Nervous System
How the Brain WorksTolerance and Cross-Tolerance
Rebound / WithdrawalDrug Half Life / five to eliminate
THIQ in Alcohol MetabolismDopamine Depletion by Cocaine
Determining BAC by number of drinks consumed

The following drugs/drug classes will be examined:

OpioidsAlcohol
Sedative-HypnoticsCannabis Sativa
CocaineSympathomimetics
InhalantsHallucinogens
Club DrugsCaffeine
Nicotine

For each of the drugs/drug classes, the following information will be provided and discussed

  • Examples
  • Route of Administration
  • Absorption
  • Distribution
  • Effects
  • Metabolic Half-Life
  • Elimination
  • Rebound/Withdrawal

The webinar will be live from on March 29th, 9:30-1pm ET, and March 31st, 1:30-5pm ET. The webinar will be available on-demand afterwards.

To register, click the date you are interested in below:

New Workshop: Community Reinforcement Approach for Substance Use in Adults

We hope some of you have been able to participate in at least one of our new Professional Development webinars. We are excited to be able to partner with fellow colleagues in the field of addiction to be able to provide continuing education on professional topics of interest.

We have recently partnered with Courtney Hupp, MSW, LCSW, CADC, an EBT Clinical Coordinator at Chestnut Health Systems in Illinois. She had an active role in the Assertive Continuing Care (ACC) study, funded by NIAAA, in which she administered the ACC and Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) protocols to residential clients’ post-discharge, as well as supervised other therapists on the study. Courtney will be offering her workshop “Community Reinforcement Approach for Substance Use in Adults” live online through the SASSI Institute’s training platform on February 8th. The treatment model known as CRA recognizes that, at least initially, alcohol and drug use is about reinforcing consequences — that make us more likely to repeat actions. This is true whether we are hanging out with friends, playing a favorite game, eating a good meal, or using alcohol or other drugs. People who use alcohol and drugs get something out of it – or they wouldn’t keep doing it. 

The overall goal of CRA is to help individuals reconnect with or discover new sources of positive reinforcement within their community to compete with alcohol or drug use. How do CRA clinicians do this? By listening to and learning from their clients what is important to them. They then help them connect to pro-recovery activities that have meaning and value to their client. In addition, CRA clinicians help their clients identify goals and learn how to achieve them. CRA clients also learn a variety of new skills, such as problem-solving and positive communication (with partners, friends, and others), which help them attain a better quality of life. Practicing new skills is a critical component of the skills training used in CRA. Every session ends with a mutually-agreed upon homework assignment to practice skills learned during sessions. This intervention has been implemented in outpatient, intensive outpatient, and residential treatment settings. This research-tested intervention has been used in over 500 organizations across the United States and Canada. Courtney Hupp will provide an introduction to the CRA model, a summary of the research base, and details about how to use a variety of CRA skills during sessions. 

What You Will Learn:

  • An Introduction to the CRA model
  • History of CRA research and implementation
  • Goals of CRA treatment
  • An overview of the CRA session structure and treatment guidelines
  • How to use some of the CRA procedures during sessions like a Functional Analysis for substance use, Happiness Scale, Sobriety Sampling, and Increasing Prosocial Recreation
  • General clinical skills necessary to implement CRA

For registration information click here.

A Message of Thanks and Giving From the CEO

In this season of Thanksgiving, I felt it appropriate to share some of the many things we at The SASSI Institute are thankful for. This past year has demonstrated our human potential and tenacities in so many ways. Despite the over five million worldwide deaths directly attributable to the COVID virus, our healthcare, teaching and service staff, and yes you, all of the treatment and human service professionals throughout the world have demonstrated that we may have been down, and maybe down again, but we always get back up. There are indeed so many of us that have lost loved ones, friends, or colleagues. Our hearts go out to them. In honor of their suffering and loss, we offer our condolences, our understanding, and our love.

But the proverbial light is there. We can finally see what may be an end to this horrific pandemic. Thanks to the scientific community and healthcare workers throughout the world, we are finally seeing a reduction in case numbers, and hopefully soon, our ability to declare a finality to this dire and deadly disease. If nothing else, it has proven we are all one people, and that our unity truly stands stronger than any divisiveness. Through it all, we have managed to be there for one another, for our friends, colleagues, and our families. We have remained united, and that is and should continue to be foremost in all our minds, and meriting of our thankfulness.

In the meantime, our Board of Directors, senior management staff, and I want to reassure you that despite the multiple supply chain issues, inflationary pressures, and uncertain economic environment, we have once again decided this year to maintain our pricing structure such as it is. We at The SASSI Institute are doing our best to allow you, our licensees, and collaborators to continue to do your jobs, offer the many services you offer, and continue to assist those that need us the most, those still suffering through substance use, co-morbidities and in some cases along with COVID and other health issues, tri-morbidities. This year has also seen many changes in our operational structures and the various features we offer here at The Institute. I am extremely proud of our staff and the non-stop work they have executed this year. Our Training Director has overseen one of our most successful initiatives, The Professional Development Workshops series. In addition to the many trainings we have offered over the years, we now also have nationally recognized experts providing Continuing Education approved training related to substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, and the incorporation of our SASSI tools in assessment packages for specialized populations. Our customer service, clinical, and IT teams as always, remain at your disposal and are providing non-stop services to facilitate your administration and interpretation of our many tools. I anticipate several other exciting initiatives to come, and we will inform you of them as they develop.

In the meantime, be kind to yourselves, and let’s make it our mission to take care of each other, and most of all let’s remember to be thankful!

Foundational Story Psychotherapy Webinar

We are happy to announce the next in our line of Professional Development webinars: Foundational Story Psychotherapy: Understanding and Co-Changing Clients’ Stories (Part 1) presented by Dr. Hugh Marr. Below is additional information on this workshop:

We humans are narrative creatures. Much of our communication, our cognition, our memory, and even our understanding of our self is storied. By late adolescence virtually all of us have developed a life story, a story that helps determine what we expect from others, in which settings we are most comfortable, how we treat ourselves and what we can hope for. Our life story is comprised of smaller vignettes or foundational stories. As a result, the coin of psychotherapy is narrative, and clients tell an average of 4.1 stories in each session.

Despite the ubiquity of narrative, most of us receive very little education in the structure of narrative and its application to substance abuse and mental health counseling. Given our narrative bones, all therapies must deal with narrative, although most of them do so implicitly, focusing on only a limited number of aspects of story.

In this workshop, we will examine the narrative underpinnings of substance abuse counseling and psychotherapy; and we will broaden our understanding and use of different approaches to alter both foundational and life narratives. We will look at the special impact of trauma on clients’ life stories and the resultant substance abuse and emotional struggles. Participants will come away with greater ease and more tools to understand and help clients change the problematic stories they live.

This workshop is designed to enable participants to:

  • Define foundational and life stories and describe the relationship between the two
  • Gather and use client’s stories to help them understand and change substance abuse and emotional problems
  • Describe the importance of witnessing and demonstrate thematic listening
  • Identify the relationship among substance use, mental illness, and trauma
  • Describe one use of story-based ritual to assist therapists in creating healthy boundaries between work life and home life

Visit www.sassi.com/other-training-online for registration information, provides 4 CEs.